U2 manager Paul McGuinness reportedly engaged in what might be called some gentle Google-Bashing during a Midem panel dealing with copyright Jan. 26.
“I don’t want to engage in Google-bashing, but there is a sense of unease across Europe, across the world, about Google,” he began.
At last year’s Midem, McGuinness spent most of an hour-long speech lambasting the online search giant.
“The experience of people when they go on Google and look for U2 music or P.J. Harvey music is a shopping list of illegal opportunities to get their music. They have done nothing meaningful to discourage that,” was among several negative comments aimed at the company.
In a discussion on the legality and morality of pirate sites, the availability of paid for sites and the future of downloading music, McGuinness took an (almost) gentler tone toward Google.
“Google has been making encouraging noises about restricting illegal sites or directions to illegal sites for acquiring music. The noises are very encouraging, but I’d like to see some action,” he said.
Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for the internal market and services, began the “Music for Everyone” session with a keynote speech.
“Europeans are often frustrated at not being able to access online the diversity of content offered in other member states, even though they are prepared to pay for it,” he said.
“Whether consumers, investors or entrepreneurs, it is incomprehensible that Europeans are finding on the Internet obstacles that we have been trying to break down in the physical world for more than 50 years.”
Estadio Unico de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina
April 2, 2011